Talent Management

by Rachel Brushfield

Liaising with Human Resources (HR)

I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive. .

Albert Einstein

If Human Resources don’t involve you in talent management, processes and decisions, ensure that you are proactive with them. As a line manager, you will have to implement the Human Resources talent management strategy, so get involved in discussions as early as possible.

Get your Human Resources department to clarify the following points:

  • What do they mean by talent – in other words, what criteria are being used; is talent the same as ‘high potentials’ (in other words, employees who will move through the levels of management and grades fast)?
  • Which specific people or types of job are identified as talent and is this common knowledge?
  • Who is responsible for talent management – HR, the Board, you or a combination of these?
  • What are the specific job roles and company competencies and attributes?
  • How should you explain the company’s policy on talent to your staff, especially if your company only defines some staff as talent, and some of your team aren’t in the talent category?
  • What do you need to do with talent and how does this link with other people processes?
  • What support can HR give you?
  • Are there key dates or committees about talent that you need to prepare for and attend?
  • What support does HR offer in career conversations? This may, for example, include
  • how to structure the conversation
  • how to give feedback
  • how to manage the expectations of talent about career opportunities
  • defining clear career paths and identifying what specifically is needed for each level
  • How is talent tracked in your organisation and by whom?
  • How are talent gaps filled?
  • Is there a company talent spotting incentive scheme?
  • How does succession planning work?

If you work for a large or international company, there may be sophisticated talent management software and you will need training if you are to use it. This will take time, but it will help to reduce the administrative burden of managing and appraising talent, as well as enabling you to know about and track talent to help you with succession planning.

Human resources can help advise on talent competencies: what specific skills and behaviours to recruit against and measure when managing talent.

Make time to give HR feedback on the performance of the talent in your team or department and emerging development needs or issues.